- September 18, 2017
Sejm delegation of the Republic of Poland: We will constantly be striving for matters of polish minority
‘We came here to make it clear that we are aware of these problems, we want to solve them and we want to be with our people’ – said Anna Schmidt-Rodziewicz in Radio Znad Wilii, the leader of commission for Poles living abroad, who was the representative of the delegation of deputies who came to Lithuania. Politicians met with representatives of Polish organizations on Sunday.
The meeting in the Polish house of culture was dominated by educational matters – returning middle school of Joachim Lelewel to building in Antakainis, as well as, teaching Lithuanian language or problem with a constant drop of student number in Polish schools. Although there also were mentioned positive aspects, most of the participants agreed on Lithuania pursuing constructive and strategic policy, which aims to get rid of the Polish minority. Other opinions were not heard that evening. Most of the politicians want the matters of the polish minority to be dependent on Polish-Lithuanian economic, energy and defence cooperation.
After the meeting with Radio Znad Willi Anna Schmidt-Rodziewicz highlighted, that this delegation has a spiritual character.
‘Problems of the Polish minority are not unknown to us. We are in contact with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the Minister Jan Dziedziczak, who is participating in every committee meeting and passes us information. We wanted to show that we are not a group of parliamentarians, who are far away in Warsaw and have no idea what is going on in Lithuania, what problems Poles cope with. We know it all and we are keeping up to date. We are aware of various problems, such as moving Lelewel middle school. We also are aware of big problems that have been here for many years and have not been solved, because of lack of stronger impulse, a more firm position of representatives of polish government’ – said representative of the commission.
The delegation consisted not only of members of the commission but also parliamentarians from the group of Polish-Lithuanian friendship and representatives of migration commission with Vice-President senator Artur Warzocha.
We want to show Lithuania that Poland does not forget, Poland takes care of things, will always fight for Poles here, in Lithuania, will be arranging meetings, will come over and will appeal to Lithuanian authorities – if you want to have good relations with us, then one of the key matters is solving problems of Poles in Lithuania’ – said Anna Schmidt-Rodziewicz.
According to her, returning Act of national minorities is a key matter and a honouring agreement between Poland and Lithuania about neighbourly cooperation.
‘The most burning issue is the educational law, which has been unfavourable for 6 years, we have not made any step forward, but Lithuanian authorities made a step backwards. So if we cannot make a step forward, we should be fighting for status quo that we had before. All bilateral relations need mutuality, partnership, no pulling wool over somebody’s eyes, hoping maybe one day it will be solved somehow. The matter of national minorities Act has not been solved for 7 years now and we want polish government and parliamentarians to speak more firmly. I told about it to the Speaker of Seimas, who participated with us in harvest festival in Šalčininkai – and it was a place where this minority is huge – over 80%’ – said the politician.
She added, that the next step after coming to Warsaw will be next commission meeting, dedicated to matters of Poles in Lithuania, as well as, expressing demand to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Translated by Agnieszka Piontek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.